River of No Return

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(1954) ★★★

Widower Robert Mitchum is stranded in hostile Injun territory with his young son and Marilyn Monroe, a saloon singer with a gold claim to match her heart. Colourful, clichéd, enjoyably hokey western yarn set against rugged rapids scenery – not the natural terrain, you sense, for sophisticated urbanite film-maker Otto Preminger. In fact, neither he nor Monroe wanted to make the picture but both were under contract to 20th Centurt Fox. Monroe in particular was dismissive of the material, calling it ‘a cheap B western’, which Preminger defiantly ensured it was not. The lady doth protest too much. Despite having her singing voice dubbed (by Gloria Wood), Monroe gives one of her most endearing performances in this likeable CinemaScope saga.

Certificate: PG

Duration: 88min